Segregation Of The Saints
Just step back and take a look at how most churches operate today. They seem to separate people into all sorts of groups as if this was “the way” to do things. But is this practice biblical? Where in the world did this phenomenon come from and what in the world is it all about? Churches separate people into all sorts of categories:
- By age – infants, toddlers, pre-teens, teens, young adults, seniors, etc.
- By marital status – married, single, divorced/widowed
- By theology – hence the need for various denominations
- By category of prevailing sin – in the larger churches that have multiple support groups you will likely find alcohol recovery groups, drug recovery groups, porn recovery groups, divorce recovery groups, etc.
Where in the Bible, in the New Testament church that is, do we see this practice of segregation advocated or being utilized? I have yet to find it in my bible. How about yours? And is it really beneficial to associate primarily with people who have the same exact weaknesses, the same physical/emotional/spiritual maturity level and the same exact theology as you? Don’t we all – as Christians whom the Lord desires to sanctify and mature into godly saints – need to be exposed to a wide variety of believers of various ages, experience levels, maturity levels, giftedness and areas of biblical knowledge?
So why do churches segregate people? Usually it is for what they view as practical reasons, such as to be better able to manage large congregations and to prepare materials and activities “relevant” to certain age groups or other arbitrary groupings. Instead, it would be better for larger churches to offer home groups, which is closer to the biblical pattern for the New Testament church of meeting in homes. With home groups, believers can more easily put their own gifts into practice and can see how other saints live (by actually visiting the homes of other brothers and sisters in the Lord). It is so much easier for Christians who meet in one another’s homes to see what needs there are in the local body of believers, and by so doing, Christians are more easily able to engage in the natural process of ministering to each other, thus “bearing one another’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:28]
Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>
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